As Mental Health Awareness Month concludes….
…focusing on your mental health should not!
The month of May is known as Mental Health Awareness Month, and it is a time to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues. The stigma around mental health has long existed. Even though this has started to change, many people are still reluctant to seek help or even talk about mental health with their loved ones for fear of being judged. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 450 million people worldwide currently living with mental health issues, yet two-thirds of people do not seek treatment. Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to reflect and focus on healing, reach out to trusted friends, colleagues, and/or mental health professionals, and connect in safe ways by acknowledging that it’s okay not to be okay.
World Education Laos is committed to supporting mental health and psychosocial support services in the health system through the USAID Okard project. USAID Okard conducted training for more than 40 professional health workers, namely rehabilitation staff and other specialists from Vientiane, Xieng Khouang, and Savannakhet provinces, with the goal of building their capacity to practice compassionate communication and use basic psychosocial skills when interacting with patients. These rehabilitation staff and other specialists also learned to identify more severe psychosocial issues, including symptoms of depression or anxiety, and how to activate referral pathways to doctors with expertise in mental health interventions.
USAID Okard, funded by USAID and implemented by World Education, Inc., in partnership with Humanity and Inclusion improves access to quality rehabilitation and economic opportunities for persons with disabilities, and supports design and implementation of disabilities inclusive policy.